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HomeFact CheckOld Video Of BBC Anchor Questioning India’s Space Programme Goes Viral After...

Old Video Of BBC Anchor Questioning India’s Space Programme Goes Viral After Chandrayaan-3 Success

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
BBC anchor questions India’s spending on its space programme following the success of Chandrayaan-3.

Fact
Viral video is a cropped version of a BBC discussion from July 2019, around the launch of Chandrayaan-2.

Soon after the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft landed on the rugged, unexplored south pole of the moon at 06.04pm on August 23, 2023, propelling India to an exclusive club of four, several social media users began circulating a video of a purported BBC discussion, where the anchor questions India’s spending on a space programme despite the lack of infrastructure and “extreme poverty” across the country.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Also Read: Video of Russian Lunar Mission Crash? No, Old Video Falsely Shared As Luna-25 Crashing on Lunar Surface

India On The Moon

India staked a new claim as a national space superpower when it became the first country to land on the south pole of the lunar surface, joining an elite club of countries to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, after the US, the former Soviet Union and China.

India had previously attempted a lunar south pole landing in September 2019, but a software failure caused the Chandrayaan-2 mission to crash into the surface. Days before the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft’s Vikram lander made history, Russia attempted to land its first spacecraft on the moon in almost 50 years, but the Luna-25 mission smashed into the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-3, a cost-effective mission valued at ₹600 crore, is expected to remain functional for two weeks, running a series of experiments, including a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the lunar surface.

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “BBC Chandrayaan-3”, which did not throw up any credible news reports of any such incident. When we went through BBC’s coverage of Chandrayan-3, we did not find any relevant news reports, raising our doubts.

Taking a cue from the watermark of “Videsh TV” on the viral video, we were led to this Youtube video, dated July 22, 2019, uploaded by Videsh TV and headlined “BBC reaction on Chandrayaan-2: 700 million Indians don’t have toilet why India spend money on space”. The viral excerpt can be seen from the 01:07 mark.

It can be clearly seen that the discussion was around the launch of Chandrayaan-2, which was successfully launched on July 22, 2019, at 14:43 hrs by GSLV MkIII-M1 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota. News reports on the launch can be seen here and here

We then reached out to Rupa Jha, head of India, BBC News, who confirmed that the viral video is not from the coverage of Chandrayaan-3, but is four years old. Jha shared BBC News Hindi’s fact-check of the viral video, which states that a four-year-old video that aired on BBC World News just before the launch of Chandrayaan-2 in 2019 has been wrongly shared as a fresh video after being cropped.

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra had also reacted to the old video, criticising the anchor for his remarks.

Also Read: Video Showing Muslim Woman Being Forced To Lie In Muck To Conceive Is Scripted

Conclusion

Four-year-old video of a discussion between a presenter of BBC World News and an Indian correspondent before the launch of Chandrayaan-2 resurfaces following the success of Chandrayaan-3.

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Youtube video, Videsh TV, July 22, 2019
E-mail with Rupa Jha, head of India, BBC News
BBC News Hindi report, August 24, 2023


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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